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Thread: Beef over EC: A subsidy for the rich?

  1. #1
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    Default Beef over EC: A subsidy for the rich?

    http://www.straitstimes.com/archive/...-rich-20130106

    Beef over EC: A subsidy for the rich?

    Published on Jan 06, 2013

    By Jeremy Au Yong Deputy Editor Singapolitics.sg


    With a record price of $2.05 million, the 4,349 sq ft "presidential" penthouse at CityLife@Tampines was far and away the most-talked about topic on Singapolitics in the new year.

    After all, here was a condominium unit drawing attention because it was considered both very cheap and very expensive.

    The unit was considered cheap because it had a per square foot price of only $470 - $744 if only livable space is counted - and therefore presented something of a sure thing. In fact, all executive condominium units have a track record of making great gains for their owners.

    Yet, many were upset because this supposed sure-thing had a price tag so high that it would be affordable only to someone who could somehow get around the requirement for EC buyers to have a household income of no more than $12,000 a month.

    A blog post on Singapolitics questioned why a developer was allowed to set such a price for an EC that is supposed to be targeted at those in the sandwiched class who may not be able to afford private property.

    In the end, the unit was bought by a 25-year-old whose father paid most of the price.

    For netizens, their main beef was that the deal gave the impression that it was a sort of subsidy for the rich.

    Zhangyongzhong described the problem this way in an e-mail to Singapolitics: "There is an obvious loophole in the system, which allows the privileged few to take advantage of, and make good financial gains at the expense of, taxpayers."

    He added: "Unless the issue of equity (or the lack of) in terms of allocation of resources and opportunities is resolved, the housing system in Singapore cannot be considered world class."

    A netizen who gave his name only as Thomas also sent an e-mail along the same lines, saying that the size and price of executive condominium units needed to be regulated.

    He wrote: "I think HDB made a big mistake in not specifying a maximum size or value per apartment for EC. It completely destroys the purpose and objective of building an EC."

    Others like Mr Anthony Lee called on the Government to raise the $12,000 income ceiling for ECs, given the high price of private property.

    Elsewhere on Singapolitics, the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council versus Action Information Management saga continues, with blogger Alex Au saying he would take down and apologise for a blog post on the topic that was deemed to have defamed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

    We also bring you some highlights from the Marriage and Parenthood Study 2012 including the surprising finding that, even though the years of having a baby bonus and maternity leave have failed to increase the birth rate, couples still named those two measures as the most likely to persuade them to have children.

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    cancel all EC loh. either pick HDB or go buy private.

    like that all happy right?

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